Welcome to A Garden Variety Blog!

Although my neighbors are all barbarians,
And you, you are a thousand miles away,
There are always two cups on my table.
--Tang Dynasty

I hope you, whomever you are,
will sit down "with" me for tea,
or flavored coffee or spiced cider,
and have a garden variety chat.
Now and then.
I am not so consistant about blogging
as I ought to be.
I *am* consistant about
drinking hot beverage
and the coffee/tea is always on the hob.

Come on in!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Scent, and Memory Triggers

I used to hate lavender.

I had only smelled it in potpourri scents in her crafts. It was synthetic and extremely strong, having a very sharp undercurrent. I thought it was extremely masculine, and couldn't stand to be in the room with the scent.

I was still single and just out of college, so I felt that way about Lavender for a long time.

Scroll ahead more than 10 years. I've gotten married, had a miscarriage, delivered Carrie (84) and am pregnant with Crystal (89). I had injured my back earlier in the year and dear Crystal must have been too much for those muscles. My lower back went into spasms that could go on for hours, and once stopped would start again at the slightest movement. I spent 3 months flat on my back on the floor, moving only to be practically carried to the car and (flat on my back again in the car) taken to the chiropractor's office. It was hell.

The Doctor decided quickly that the getting up and down, and riding in the car was making it worse, so he started coming to our house every day with a tens unit. [Definition: "TENS" is the acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. A "TENS unit" is a pocket size, portable, battery-operated device that sends electrical impulses to certain parts of the body to block pain signals.] Back then the unit was not pocket sized and was barely portable.

It got to the point that I couldn't move even to roll over on my side, and a cough had me screaming. I remember a friend coming to the door and not being able to get in to help me, and standing there on the porch sobbing because there was nothing she could do. After that, Larry started leaving the door unlocked all the time.

I was willing to die to stop it, if I could have. I was willing (this horrifies me now) to take narcotic pain meds even if they killed my baby. Thank God no one offered the meds to me.

I don't remember much alse about the worst part of those 3 months, except during the last month when I realised the Christmas tree was still up behind my head. That was March.

During March, I also realised that people from the church had been coming every day with food for the family, and hands to do dishes and laundry. They were all wonderful but B. Tubbs was my clearest memory because she sacrificed for me.

She had been a missionary but had been forced to come home to live with her mom, because she had Myasthenia Gravis. She brought food, and gifts, but her greatest gift was one of true sacrifice. She vacumned. And then she came back to the living room and lay down beside me for almost an hour because she couldn't stay on her feet any longer.

Wherever she is now, God bless her!
One of the gifts she brought was a lavender bath set. Obviously I couldn't use it yet, but I kept it near me for a long time, until I could get up on crutches and hobble to the bathroom by myself.

Ever since that experience, I have loved lavender.
When I smell it my head clears, my thoughts and feelings are stilled and settled, and I believe what I will always feel from lavender that sense of someone's sacrifice for me.

SIDE NOTE: B. Tubbs had a wonderful missionary story she would tell. She had been working for quite awhile with a particular African tribe, when one of the young ladies had a baby girl. In honor of B's work and love, she named the baby "Tubbs". Just "Tubbs".